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International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198

Weight reduction and strengthening of marine hatch covers by using

composite materials
Basem E. Tawfik a,*, Heba Leheta a, Ahmed Elhewy a, Tarek Elsayed b
Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Egypt
Department of Marine Engineering, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt
Received 2 April 2016; revised 3 August 2016; accepted 19 September 2016
Available online 27 October 2016


The application of composites as an alternative material for marine steel hatch covers is the subject of this study. Two separate approaches are
considered; weight reduction approach and strengthening approach. For both approaches Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was performed using
ANSYS software. Critical design parameters of the composite hatch cover and FEA are discussed in details. Regarding the weight reduction
approach; steel hatch covers of a bulk carrier were replaced by composite covers and a weight reduction of 44.32% was achieved leading to
many benefits including fuel saving, Deadweight Increment and lower center of gravity of the vessel. For the strengthening approach; the
foremost hatch cover was strengthened to withstand 150% of the load required by IACS for safer navigation while no change in weight was
made between the steel and composite covers. Results show that both approaches are feasible and advantageous.
Copyright © 2016 Society of Naval Architects of Korea. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the
CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Keywords: Composites; Hatch cover; Bulk carrier; Alternative material; Weight reduction; Strengthening; Fiberglass; Finite element analysis

1. Introduction structural parts using adhesives (which was considered as the

weakest part of the technology), however, those limitations are
The process of introducing and/or developing structural considered as perceived. For example, well developed bonding
materials for ship construction is endless. For centuries, wood techniques and guidelines were developed and very strong
was the main shipbuilding material until ship builders realized adhesives are introduced (Horsmon, 1993), Through the
that ships built in iron or steel were stronger, lighter and easier following decades advances in materials, fabrication tech-
to maintain than those made of wood. By the beginning of the niques and design tools have forced the application of com-
1880s wooden ships were regarded as expensive and obsolete posites to wider ranges (Greene, 1999). Even a wider range of
(Evangelista et al., 2013, p. 11 and 12). During the 1960s application of composites to Naval Vessels was achieved in
composites (in particular, Glass Reinforced Plastic) were using composites for superstructures, advanced mast systems,
widely used in boat building industry for both recreational and bulkheads, decks, propellers, propulsion shafts and rudders in
commercial sectors. There have been many materials and addition to internal equipment and fittings, such as engine
construction techniques limitations that initially held back the parts, heat exchangers, equipment foundations, valves, pumps,
spread of application of composites in marine industry such as pipes and ducts (Mouritz et al., 2001); Naval Vessels are not
low stiffness, abrasion resistance and Secondary bonding of limited by civil codes and regulations such as SOLAS which
prohibits the use of combustible materials in construction of
the hull, superstructures, structural bulkheads, decks and
* Corresponding author. deckhouses. In July (2002) a new SOLAS regulation 17 (part
E-mail address: basem_tawfek@hotmail.com (B.E. Tawfik). F), “Alternative design and arrangements” appeared (IMO,
Peer review under responsibility of Society of Naval Architects of Korea.

2092-6782/Copyright © 2016 Society of Naval Architects of Korea. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND
license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
186 B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198

2002) which made it possible to use a functionally based weight) The composite hatch cover can be designed to
safety design instead of the earlier design based solely on sustain more loads than the steel cover; providing more
prescriptive rules. This new regulation opens up for the pos- safety for the ship and its cargo (Kunal et al., 2010);
sibility of using any construction materials provided the same especially for bulk carriers where the hatch cover is
level of safety can be demonstrated (Hertzberg, 2009). On considered as a primary barrier for water ingress (Lloyd's
December 11, 2014 SP Technical Research Institute of Swe- 1998) (Yao et al., 2003). The foremost hatch cover will be
den (SP, Borås, Sweden) announced that combustible, fiber- strengthened; where majority of hatch cover damages due
reinforced, lightweight composites have been approved for to heavy weather take place (Lloyd's… 1998).
the first time for use in a SOLAS ship. Panama's flag authority
has accepted a design where Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) 2. Background
hatches will replace steel hatches on MV “Nordic Oshima”.
SP research and fire risk analyses have helped make this The term composite material signifies that two or more
possible, the design was produced by the Japanese shipyard materials are combined on a macroscopic scale to form a useful
Oshima and approved by DNV-GL (Composites World 2015). third material. Fiber-reinforced, resin-matrix composite mate-
The advantages of composites are many, including lighter rials that have high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight
weight, the ability to tailor the layup for optimum strength and ratios have become important in weight sensitive applications
stiffness, improved fatigue life, corrosion resistance, and (with (Jones, 1999). A “lamina” or “ply” is a typical sheet of com-
good design practice) reduced assembly costs due to fewer posite material. It represents a fundamental building block. A
detail parts and fasteners (Campbell, 2010, p. 14). fiber-reinforced lamina consists of many fibers embedded in a
In certain ship types such as Bulk Carriers and Container- matrix material. The fibers can be continuous or discontinuous,
ships, the size of the hatch opening is very large compared to woven, unidirectional, bidirectional, or randomly distributed
deck area. Modern containerships have wider hatch opening in (Reddy, 2004), as presented in Fig. 1 (Reddy, 2004).
order to increase the number of below deck stacks; which also A “laminate” is a collection of lamina stacked to achieve
lowers the center of gravity of the cargo and enhances the the desired stiffness and thickness. For example, unidirectional
overall efficiency by providing additional useable capacity. In fiber-reinforced lamina can be stacked so that the fibers in
bulk carriers; large size hatch opening contributes easy loading each lamina are oriented in the same or different directions
and unloading of cargoes which is usually transferred by (see Fig. 2) (Reddy, 2004). The sequence of various orienta-
grabs. Typically; hatch breadth ranges from approximately tions of a fiber-reinforced composite layer in a laminate is
45%e60% of ship's breadth and hatch length ranges from termed “the stacking sequence”.
approximately 57%e67% of hold length (Lamb, 2003). Some
ambitious efforts have been done to reduce the weight of the 3. Design keys
steel hatch cover of such vessels, which resulted in relatively
low weight reduction percentage (Um and Roh, 2015). Literature review reveals that few papers where published
For such ships; Steel Hatch Covers can be replaced by covering the use of composite materials in marine hatch
composite covers using 2 different approaches based on the covers (Kunal et al., 2010) (Li et al., 2012) in addition to a
designer's aims and the advantages of each approach: Chinese invention patent (Tang, 2012), however, none of
them discussed the “complete details” of the structural design
 The aim to reduce Hatch Covers weight (Weight Reduc- of the composite hatch cover, or even the choice of composite
tion Approach), Where the composite hatch cover design material or design keys affecting the cover's design
is based on the same loads of the equivalent steel hatch effectiveness.
cover; a weight reduction of 40e54% can be achieved
(Scott and Somella, 1971) (Hertzberg, 2009, p 155) (Li
et al., 2012) resulting in the following advantages:
B Reducing weights of hatch covers will decrease the

height of the center of gravity of the ship and subse-

quently improves ship's stability.
B As an economic advantage, the reduction in weight

(i.e. reduced draft) can lead to an increase in payload

or to a reduction in ship's fuel consumption (Um and
Roh, 2015).
B Although the composite hatch cover's initial cost is

higher than that of the steel cover; the life cycle cost of
the composite cover is more competitive; since it is
corrosion free, which means less maintenance cost and
effort are required (Li et al., 2012).
 The aim to increase the Strength of the hatch cover
(strengthening approach), where (while maintain the same Fig. 1. Various types of fiber-reinforced composite lamina.
B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198 187


(ACP) 2015 Software.

4.1. Particulars of selected vessel

The selected vessel (Fig. 3) is a middle size bulk carrier of

82,221 tons deadweight and total cargo holds capacity of
97,186.1 m3, The main particulars of the vessel as shown in
Table 1.
The ship is provided with 7 cargo holds and each cargo
hold is provided with its own steel hatch opening and cover,
see Fig. 4. The hatch covers are of the sliding type (side
rolling) (Lamb, 2003), which consists of 2 parts sliding to the
sides using hydraulic equipment.

4.2. Calculation of design loads

The covers are designed according to IACS unified

requirement (UR S21); which is in excess of International
Load Line 1966 (ILLC 66) requirements; especially for the
design of forward hatch covers, see Fig. 5 (Lloyd's… 1998).
The details of the formula for calculation of hatch covers
loads as per IACS UR S21.2. are shown below.
For ships of 100 m in length and above:
PFP e34:3 X
P ¼ 34:3 þ 0:25 
0:25 L
 34:3; for hatchways located at the freeboard deck: ð1Þ
Fig. 2. A laminate made up of lamina with different fiber orientations.

There are many design variations that have to be considered
in designing the composite hatch cover. The structure can be in PFP ¼ pressure at the forward perpendicular ¼ 49.1 þ
the form of single skin stiffened structure or sandwich (L100)a
configuration. The structure could potentially be made up a ¼ 0.0726 for type B freeboard ships, 0.356 for ships with
using different fiber types, fiber architectures and weaves, reduced freeboard.
resins and core materials; there could be further variations L ¼ freeboard length, in m, as defined in Regulation 3 of
owing to volume fractions and geometric/topological layouts Annex I to the 1966 Load Line Convention as modified by
(Blake et al., 2009). the Protocol of 1988, to be taken not greater than 340 m.
The factors affecting the design of the Marine composite x ¼ distance, in m, of the mid length of the hatch cover
hatch cover can be summarized in the below points (Vinson under examination from the forward end of L.
and Sierakowski, 2004):

 Composite Material Selection; where the designer should

choose the material based on several factors including the
nature of loads and Economic Constraints.
 The ply sequences and orientation of fibers; based on the
boundary conditions.
 Structural arrangement Details; in the case of the hatch
cover, the number and spacing of internal longitudinal and
horizontal stiffeners is an essential parameter.

4. Case study

The following structural analysis was performed on a

typical bulk carrier, where two approaches were used to
analyze and demonstrate the benefits of using marine com-
posite hatch cover. FEM analysis has been performed using Fig. 3. An overview of the case study vessel.
188 B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198

Table 1
Principal particulars of selected vessel.
Principal particulars
1. Principal dimensions
Length over all 228.99 m
Length between perpendiculars. 222.000 m
Breadth mld 32.260 m
Depth mld 20.030 m
Design Load Draft mld 12.200 m
2. Tonnage, class, etc.
Gross tonnage 43,189
Net tonnage 27,291
Class Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK)
Notation NS* (BC-A) (ESP), MNS*, MO
Navigation area Ocean going
Speed 14.5 Kt

On the other hand, the vertical deflection of primary sup-

porting members is to be not more than the value in this
Defl:  0:0056[ ð2Þ

where [ is the greatest span of primary supporting members.

From Figs. 4 and 5, we can see that the load on the hatch
cover depends on the longitudinal location of the cover,
therefore; the load on hatch cover number one is higher than
the load on hatch cover number two and so on up to 0.25 of the
length measured from forward perpendicular.
Table 2 contains the resulting loads after applying the Fig. 5. Hatch cover design according to IACS UR S21 and ILLC 66.
equation on the selected vessel.
Hold Number 4 is used as a ballast hold; therefore, hy-
drostatic pressure of 29.49 kN/m2 on cover number 4 is Fittings include hydraulic system components, piping,
considered. chains and quick closing cleats.
As an example, Fig. 6 shows the construction of hatch
4.3. Design of steel hatch covers cover Number 1.

The Material used for the manufacture of steel hatch covers 4.4. Design of composite hatch covers
is High Tensile Steel 32K, approved by the classification so-
ciety. The dimensions of the covers are shown in Table 3. The composite hatch cover design is based on the same
Since (according to IACS UR S21) the load is depending on loads calculated according to IACS UR S21. The same di-
the location of the cover; the weights of hatch covers 1 and 2 are mensions of steel hatch covers were used.
different than remaining covers. Table 4 represents weight of In designing the composite cover a single skin construction
each steel hatch cover in addition to the weight of the fittings. was chosen for the sake of simplicity and initial cost

Fig. 4. Arrangement of ship's cargo holds and covers.

B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198 189

Table 2 that the modulus of elasticity is different in x and y directions

Loads and permissible deflections on hatch covers. since the material is anisotropic.
Cover number Load Cover number Load The orientation chosen for the laminate is 0, 45, 45, 90,
PH1¼ 67.79 kN/m 2
PH2¼ 41.64 kN/m2 90, 45, 45, 0 (even symmetric), Fig. 8 shows the properties
PH3¼ 34.30 kN/m2 PH4¼ 34.30 kN/m2 of the laminate, where it can be seen that the laminate is quasi-
PH5¼ 34.30 kN/m2 PH6¼ 34.30 kN/m2 isotropic, where the modulus of elasticity in x and y directions
PH7¼ 34.30 kN/m2
Permissible deflection on hatch cover Number 1 81.31 mm
are not different anymore.
Permissible deflection on hatch cover Number 101.25 mm Fig. 9 summarizes the orientation of the laminate, the total
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 thickness of a laminate is 4 mm.

4.4.3. Failure criteria

Table 3 Failure criteria are functions that describe a failure enve-
Hatch covers dimensions.
lope and the output of the function is the inverse reserve factor
Hatch number Cover size (L (mm)  B (mm)) (IRF). IRF is a measure of where the load point is in relation to
Number 1 14,520  14,040 the failure envelope. IRF defines the inverse margin to failure.
Number 2 18,080  15,640 Load divided with IRF is equal to the failure load. IRF >1
Number 3 18,080  15,640
discloses failure (ANSYS… 2015, p. 154 and 155). Tsai-Wu
Number 4 18,080  15,640
Number 5 18,080  15,640 (Tsai and Wu, 1971) and Puck (Puck et al., 2002) failure
Number 6 18,080  15,640 criteria have been used to assess the failure in the composite
Number 7 18,080  15,640 hatch cover.
Finite elements models have been validated in Ansys
using the Ansys mechanical Quality control metrics, further
validation of the analysis results can be done by comparing
reduction. The cover consists of top and sides plates reinforced with the results of the experimental work in (Hinton et al.,
by longitudinal and transverse blade stiffeners. 2004).

4.4.1. Selection of composite material 4.4.4. Calculation of member's thickness

The material selected for the construction of the composite In order to effectively calculate the thickness of each hatch
hatch cover is “E-Glass fibers, Silenka, 1200tex” which con- cover member the criteria described by the flow chart in
sists of unidirectional continuous fibers, see Table 5. Fig. 10 was implemented.
The selection of composite material was based on (Soden In process 1, an initial scantling shall be used, this scantling
et al., 1998) that gives details of the input data and a can be based on the scantling of the steel hatch cover with
description of the laminates provided to all participants in an some increase in members' thicknesses. Then, IRF (Inverse
exercise to predict the strength of composite laminates ”the reserve Factor) of the structure shall be calculated using the
worldwide failure exercise” (Hinton et al., 2004). A fiber structural failure envelope of Tsai-Wu and puck failure crite-
volume fraction of 0.6 is used. rion. If the maximum IRF of any member is more than 1, this
E-Glass material was chosen over S-Glass, carbon fibers means that this member is not complying with the failure
and other composite materials due to its relatively low cost in criteria and that its thickness have to be increased. On the
order to achieve the most economic gain (Greene, 1999). other hand, if the maximum IRF in the member is not
exceeding 0.9, this means that this member thickness is over
4.4.2. Laminate orientation than required and that its thickness shall be reduced. This
A lamina of 0.5 mm unidirectional continuous fibers is process shall produce members that are complying with the
used, Fig. 7 shows some of the properties of the lamina which relevant failure envelopes but in the same time not adding
have been extracted by Ansys Composite Preppost. It is clear unnecessary weight to the structure.

Table 4
Weights of steel hatch covers.
Weight table (Kg)
Item Hatch number Total weight
6 4 3,5,7 2 1
Construction 59,840 66,745 59,840  3 64,290 50,420 420,815
Fittings On cover 1090 1380 1,075  3 1160 1080 7935
On coaming 1210 1895 1,210  3 1225 1195 9155
Packing 208 208 208  3 208 174 1422
Total 62,348 70,228 62,333  3 ¼ 186,999 66,883 52,869 439,327
190 B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198

Fig. 6. Construction of steel hatch cover Number 1.

Table 5
Composite material properties.
Material: E-glass fibers, Silenka, 1200tex
r: 1.964 T/M3 Ply type: uni-directional
E1: 45,600 MPa E2: 16,200 MPa E3: 16,200 MPa
n12: 0.278 n13: 0.4 n23: 0.4
G12: 5830 MPa G31:5785.7 MPa G23: 5785.7 MPa

Fig. 8. Properties of a laminate.

In Process 2, the structure shall be tested against the vertical

deflection criteria in equation number 2. If the structure doesn't
meet the criteria, then the thickness of the relevant structural
members shall be increased, however, if this will affect the
conditions of process 1, an increase in the number of stiffeners
can be considered. After that process 1 shall be repeated in order
Fig. 7. Properties of a lamina. to make sure that the structure is still in compliance.
B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198 191

Fig. 9. Laminate orientation.

Fig. 10. Scantling criteria for the composite hatch cover.

192 B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198

Table 6 Composite cover design. Summary of the thickness of

Design thickness of hatch cover components. each component of the hatch cover Number 1 are presented in
Component Thickness (mm) Table 6 and shown in Figs. 11 and 12.
Top plate 48 The weight of the composite hatch cover is 50.551 tons,
Side plates 56 which is (approximately) the same weight of the steel hatch
Stiffener plates Number 1, 2, 6 and 7 56 cover. In addition; the weights of the hydraulic system and
Stiffener plates Number 3, 4 and 5 68
Reinforcements at the end of stiffener plates Number 1, 136
equipment are omitted.
2, 6 and 7
Reinforcements at the end of stiffener plates Number 3, 148 Analysis results and discussion. The load applied on
4 and 5 the hatch cover is 101,708.949 Pa; which is 1.5 the load
Reinforcements at sides connections with plate 136 specified by IACS UR S21.
The maximum Inverse Reserve Factor IRF after applying
Tsai Wu and Pucks failure theories on the cover is 0.946.
The maximum deflection in the cover is 67.047 mm, while
4.4.5. Strengthening approach the maximum allowed deflection by IACS UR S21 is
A composite hatch cover with the same weight as the steel 81.31 mm. Figs. 13 and 14 summarize the above results.
one, can withstand higher loads than required by IACS UR The CPU Computation time for the analysis is 1410 s.

Fig. 11. Thickness of composite hatch cover.

Fig. 12. Thickness of reinforcements at the connections between sides and stiffeners.
B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198 193

Fig. 13. IRF of Tsai Wu and Pucks failure theories on composite hatch cover.

Fig. 14. Deformation of composite hatch cover.

4.4.6. Weight reduction approach

The weight reduction approach aims to replace the steel Table 7
hatch cover with a much lower weight composite hatch cover. Design thickness of the components of hatch cover Number 1.
Component Thickness (mm) Composite cover design. Since the loads on hatch
Top plate 28
covers Number 1, 2 and 4 are different than the loads on the Side plates 32
rest of the hatch covers (Number 3, 5, 6 and 7); the design of Stiffener plates Number 1, 2, 40
those hatch covers will be different in order to withstand the 6 and 7
extra load. Stiffener plates Number 3, 4 48
A summary of the thickness of each component of the hatch and 5
Reinforcements at the end of 96
cover Number 1 can be seen in Table 7 and Figs. 15 and 16. stiffener plates Number 1,
The load applied on the hatch cover Number 1 is 68,000 Pa; 2, 6 and 7
which is the same load specified by IACS UR S21. Reinforcements at the end of 104
The weight of the composite hatch cover is 32.62 Tons, stiffener plates Number 3,
which is 35% of the weight of the steel hatch cover. In addi- 4 and 5
Reinforcements at sides 88
tion; the weights of the hydraulic system and equipment are connections with plate
omitted. stiffeners
194 B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198

Fig. 15. Thickness of composite hatch cover Number 1.

Fig. 16. Thickness of reinforcements at the connections between sides and stiffeners.

The same analysis was performed on all other hatch covers. Weights of composite hatch covers and weight reduction
values are summarized in Table 8. Analysis of results and discussion. The maximum From above results, the total weight of composite hatch
Inverse Reserve factor IRF after applying Tsai Wu and Pucks covers equal to 55.68% of the total weight of the steel hatch
failure theories in the cover is 0.93. covers. Fig. 19 summarizes the new weights.
The maximum deflection in the cover is 78.274 mm, where
the maximum allowed deflection by IACS UR S21 is 4.5. Cost analysis
81.31 mm. Figs. 17 and 18 summarize the above results.
The CPU Computation time for the analysis is 1530 s. Cost analysis can play a vital role in choosing between steel
The same analysis was made to hatch covers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and composite materials for the marine hatch cover. For a ship
and 7 and all of the IRFs and deformation values were found structure, steel is the most economical material when just
within allowable limits. looking at the manufacturing cost. But from a life cycle
B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198 195

Fig. 17. IRF of Tsai Wu and Pucks failure theories on composite hatch cover Number 1.

Fig. 18. Deformation of composite hatch cover Number 1.

perspective the cost for operation and maintenance are as steel hatch cover is 420.815 t and its material cost is 462,896.5
important as the acquisition cost. A decrease in structural $ which is accounted for 43% of the total acquisition cost, so
weight, by using a light weight material, can result in reduced the total manufacturing cost of the steel hatch covers is
fuel consumption, increased payload, increase of speed and 1,076,503 $.
increased range. All these factors then will affect the cost
during operation (Hertzberg, 2009). The initial and life cycle Composite hatch cover. The manufacturing cost of the
cost will be calculated for both the steel and composite cover composite hatch cover is estimated using Process-based cost
and a comparison between the two of them will be done to models. The concept distinguishes between variable and fixed
emphasize the economic impact of the use of composites in costs and relates them to individual production steps (Haffner,
marine hatch covers. 2002). The cover can be constructed using many construction
methods, However, Hand Lay-Up (HLU) has been selected for
4.5.1. Manufacturing cost construction of the composite hatch cover being the simplest
manufacturing method offering low-cost tooling, simple pro- Steel hatch cover. For the steel hatch covers, the steel cessing and a wide range of part sizes (Greene, 1999). For a
plate price is about 1100 $/ton (Li et al., 2012). Total weight of hand lay-up process the total cost components are as shown in
196 B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198

Table 8
Steel and composite covers weights and weight reduction value.
HC number 01 HC number 02 HC number 03 HC number 04 HC number 05 HC number 06 HC number 07
Steel cover weight (t) 50.42 64.29 59.84 66.745 59.84 59.84 59.84
Composite cover weight (t) 32.62 37.43 31.55 38.04 31.55 31.55 31.55
Reduction percentage 35.30% 41.78% 47.28% 43.00% 47.28% 47.28% 47.28%
Total steel covers weight (t) 420.815
Total composite covers 234.291
weight (t)
Total weight reduction (%) 44.32%

Fig. 19. Comparison of steel and composite hatch cover weights.

Fig. 20, where the material cost is accounted as about 31% of maintenance cost and less risk of cargo damage, which results
total cost. in less cargo lossydamage claims (Hansen, 2008). The
According to (Haffner, 2002) the average cost of E-Glass is summary of the basic LCCA can be found in Table 9.
between 1763.7e2204.6 $/t and the average cost of Epoxy is
between 3747.9e4409.3 $/t taking into account that a fiber 5. Conclusions and future work
volume fraction of 0.6 is used. Total weight of composite
hatch covers is 234.291 tons, consequently the material cost is Through the paper, the various aspects of the use of
723,127 $ which is (as previously stated) accounted for 31% composite materials in hatch cover have been demonstrated
of the total manufacturing cost. Therefore, the total supported by design details and cost analysis. Hatch covers of
manufacturing cost of composite hatch covers is equal to a vessel can be strengthened in order to withstand additional
2,332,667 $. cargo and severe weather loads without increasing the
lightship weight of the vessel, in addition, ship managers will
4.5.2. Life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) benefit from the reduced maintenance costs of hatch covers.
Due to the weight saving that has been afforded by the On the other hand, a vessel can load more cargo while using
usage of composite material in lieu of steel, the 82,221 ton the same draft it was using before converting its hatch covers
DWT vessel under study can carry an additional cargo of to composite material and in the same time (since it is about
186.524 tons. The economic life length is set to 20 years and 40% Lighter), composite hatch covers are more easy to handle
according to (Brooks, 2008) the cost of transportation is about using the ship's own cargo gear or using smaller port facilities.
500 $/ton.year, therefore, the economic gain during life time As a matter of fact, vessels equipped with composite hatch
of the vessel is equal to 1,865,250 $ which is covering more covers can be designed with smaller and lighter cargo handling
than the difference between the initial cost of steel and com- equipment which will leading to more weight savings and
posite covers. Furthermore, the composite hatch cover expe- additional cargo capacity.
riences zero corrosion and operates with better sealing Furthermore, basic life cycle cost analysis proved that
performance, which will lead to additional saving in composite hatch covers are economically competitive through
B.E. Tawfik et al. / International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering 9 (2017) 185e198 197

point the cost for operating the composite hatch cover will
increase slower than the cost of operating the steel hatch cover
and starting from this point the initial investment of the
composite hatch cover will start to pay off, see Fig. 21. Also
environmental benefits will arise through lower emissions due
to reduced fuel consumption.
Therefore, composite Hatch cover can be considered as a
revolutionary alternative for traditional metallic steel hatch
cover. The usage of composite hatch cover has been found
beneficial for both Weight reduction and strengthening ap-
proaches. The economic advantages, additional strength and
low maintenance costs of the composite cover can encourage
ship's owners and managers to replace their existing steel
covers; taken into account that SOLAS Fire resistance re-
quirements (Ch. II-2, Reg. 17) be satisfied.
Future research will result in optimizing the design of the
composite hatch covers; which can lead to more weight saving
and/or more hatch cover strengthening. On the other hand
more research is needed to reveal new areas suitable for
composites to replace metals on board ships and offshore
Fig. 20. Distribution of hand layup costs for HLU process.

Table 9 Acknowledgments
Summary of basic life cycle cost analysis.
Comparison item Steel hatch Composite hatch covers The authors gratefully acknowledge Yahia Abou-Shousha
from the International Shipping Bureau, Egypt for his assis-
Total weight (T) 420.815 234.291 tance in the study.
Material cost ($) 462,896.5 723,127
Total manufacturing cost ($) 1,076,503 2,332,667
Economic gain through e 1,865,250 þ (Less
economic life length ($) Maintenance cost, less cargo
damage claims)
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vessels. Ships Offshore Struct 4 (3), 287e297. Taylor and Francis Group.
Brooks, D., 2008. Regional Cooperation, Infrastructure and Trade Costs in
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Available from. http://www.adbi.org/workingpaper/2008/12/04/2762.
Campbell, F.C., 2010. Structural Composite Materials. ASM International,
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